The Huawei 5G All-Scenario CPE N5368X is one of the coolest pieces of tech we have ever used.
Not because of the frequency bands it can access or the Wi-Fi connectivity it offers – but because of the “how it feels in your hands” factor when you unbox it.
The Huawei 5G CPE is what most of us will refer to as a “5G router”.
It connects to a 5G network, and then you connect your phone or PC to it via Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity.
While many South Africans are used to their 5G and LTE routers sitting on a desk in their home, however, the latest device from Huawei is made for both indoor and outdoor use.
The Huawei CPE is “weatherproof”, which means it can get a bit of rain, dust, or wind thrown at it and it will survive.
This means that you can install it outside, which for 5G use can potentially provide faster speeds thanks to a stronger connection to the nearest tower.
To ensure that users can install the CPE outside and not have to worry about it succumbing to the elements, Huawei has packed a range of cool add-ons into the box as standard.
We recently got our hands on one of these Huawei 5G CPEs, and have catalogued these parts in photos below.
Huawei 5G CPE
The CPE is a large device, with a nice weight to it and a cylindrical design.
The first thing those who have used Huawei’s previous LTE/5G routers will notice is a sturdy metal bracket on the back of the device, along with a Power/LAN port at the base which has a socket for a plug to be screwed in.
The CPE can be mounted to a wall or pole for outdoor use.
For wall mounting, users will attach the included bracket shown below to a wall with the supplied bolts, and then clip the CPE to the bracket.
For pole mounting, Huawei has supplied hose clamps which you thread through the wall bracket and then tighten around the pole you have selected.
The CPE then clips onto the bracket.
To power the device, Huawei has included a long, flat Ethernet cable which plugs into the bottom of the CPE.
It has also included plastic plugs with rubber seals in them, which fit around the Ethernet cable and keep any water or dust getting into the CPE’s port if the device is installed outside.
This Ethernet cable is then plugged into the CPE’s power adapter, which will sit inside your home or office.
The power adapter features a standard three-prong plug, along with a “WAN/Power” port which the flat Ethernet cable plugs into.
It also has a LAN port and comes with an additional Ethernet cable for users who want to have a wired connection to the CPE.
For indoor users, the setup is similar – except that you will use the included Ethernet cable holder and CPE stand.
The cable holder is a wheel-shaped piece of plastic that has two slots in it and coils excess Ethernet cable length around it for neater storage.
The indoor stand is a metal disc with a perpendicular clip that attaches to the back of the Huawei CPE.
The finished product
In the case of an indoor setup, when you put all of these parts together you get the configuration shown in the image below.
For those interested in additional details, our CPE came with a SIM built-in – with its details printed on the box.
The frequency bands the CPE operates in are:
- 5G NR – n78/n77/n41
- LTE FDD – Band 1/3/7/8/20/28
- LTE TDD – Band 38/40/41/42/43
This is an opinion piece based on a hands-on test.